So much for ‘gun ownership is declining’: Poll: More Americans Have a Gun in Home Than Ever Before

One of the oft-repeated trope of the gun control movement is that gun ownership is decreasing.  And yet…

A new poll published on Thursday found more Americans report having a gun in their home than ever before.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun. That’s 3 percentage points higher than when the same question was asked last year. It’s 9 percentage points higher than when the question was asked in 2011, the low point of the poll’s findings for self-reported gun ownership.

This topic deserves a longer post, so I’ll address this in greater detail later.


A great response to the NY Times “historic” front page editorial: “An Open Letter to the New York Times Editorial Board on Guns”

The New York Times decided that the San Bernardino shooting was so outrageous that they decided to vent their spleen by publishing their first Front Page Editorial in Forever… and it was on Gun Control.

Specifically we should End the Gun Epidemic in America

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.

Now if someone tells you that there is a “gun epidemic” I won’t fault you for scratching your head.   Gun crime is down 49% since 1993, though the public is unaware.

And those “barely modified” guns that are “weapons of war” are semi automatic rifles that aren’t even firing bullets big enough to hunt deer with in most states.  The New York Times wants them banned though, despite not knowing what they are.  In this display of stunning ignorance, they are joined by the President of the United States

There were plenty of reactions to this, from Christie’s dismissal of the OpEd as “liberal claptrap” and Colion Noir’s analysis dissecting the issue & response to  WaPo’s hamfisted defense that lambasted those attacking the NYT

We will always self-correct as time goes on and sooner or later, America gets what America wants.  However, the founders set an intentionally high bar on altering the rights they fought to secure.  A simple majority won’t get it done, but a morally outraged nation can make it happen quite quickly.  Yes, the founders perhaps didn’t foresee the advancement of modern weapons of war, but they didn’t foresee women getting the right to vote either.  It was a moral outrage and national disgrace that women couldn’t vote at one point in our nation’s history, but when America woke up to realize that, they changed the constitution to reflect it.  For that reason, I am not ashamed of America.

However, I would be ashamed of an America that allowed women to vote, but said they had to complete 20 pull-ups to do so.  I would be ashamed of an America that prohibited a poll tax, but charged $500 for parking outside a polling station.  I would be ashamed of an America who says we have the right to free speech, but makes words that could be offensive or hurt someone’s feelings criminal as apparently 40% of millennials would preference.  I would be ashamed of an America that said 18-year-olds had the right to vote, but they had to prove they weren’t an absolute idiot first.  Now wait, that last one is actually not a bad idea. But the point is, if it was indeed a moral outrage as you called it, then America would respond as we always have in kind.  It is called the 2nd Amendment because it is literally the 2nd one on the list, not an afterthought.  To alter it with anything less than the constitution itself  would in fact be, a moral outrage and national disgrace.

The response goes on to point out that the NYT recently published an article dismissing the danger of so called “assault weapons” –

Do you know how many people have been killed in America by assault weapons?  I’m sure you have fact checkers out there, but wouldn’t that be an interesting number to publish so that we can determine the scope of this moral outrage.  Actually, you already did that last September in another editorial you titled, The Assault Weapon Myth.  I attached a link so you can refresh your memory.

In my opinion, the most important paragraph is the one compares these strident screams to “do something” to other political hot topics:

You know that feeling you get when states pass Voter ID laws and you believe it to be an infringement on a person’s right to vote?  Despite the fact that anyone can easily get an ID, you believe the hurdle put in place to be much more nefarious that it seems.  That is kind what supporters of the 2ndAmendment are feeling right now.  I support voter ID laws in the same manner I am ok with background checks and some basic mental health component for a gun purchase.  Both can be very dangerous and lead to an infringement of a basic constitutional right, but if done well and aggressively kept in check, harmless.

Edit:  David at Gun Culture 2.0 wrote a very good fact based response to the NY Times editorial to compliment his earlier “opinion” based one:

WSJ drops a Truth Bomb: The Progressive Gun-Control Charade: “After tragedy, politicians glibly call for unworkable reforms—then blame the ‘gun lobby’ when they fail.”

I came across an article in the WSJ today that succinctly summed up the gun control situation in American politics.

It’s notable how much the rhetoric has changed since the peak of the national gun-ban movement, when politicians talked honestly about reducing violence by constricting the gun supply—and what that would require. In a 1989 Senate hearing, Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, a Democrat from Ohio, candidly explained: “If you don’t ban all of them you might as well ban none of them.” But gun bans proved unpalatable to American voters in even the most liberal jurisdictions. In 1976 Massachusetts voters rejected a handgun ban referendum 69% to 24%, with 86% of eligible voters going to the polls. In 1982 California voters rejected a handgun “freeze,” which would have barred their sale, 63% to 37%, with a voter turnout of 72%. (source)

Gun owners have long memories.  We’re fully aware that despite the rhetoric softening slightly, the true desires of the antigun extremists is to ban as many as possible.  After all, what else is “Australian” gun control without confiscation under the guise of buybacks?

We’re not stupid, as GeekyLiberal stated, and we don’t appreciate being lied to or lied about.

The WSJ goes on to say

Gun owners and Second Amendment activists understand that Howard Metzenbaum was absolutely right about the logic of supply-side gun control. So they resist incremental gun controls on the understanding that the latest proposal cannot be the last step. And when these half-measures fail, in either passage or effectiveness, progressives can always blame the “gun lobby.”

Yet despite the media push to make the NRA the biggest boogeyman ever, they poll higher than Obama and Clinton and support for gun banning remains low, no matter what push polls claim about background checks.

Still, President Obama’s open praise of the Australian gun ban is progress of a sort. It sets us on the path toward an honest debate about the confiscation policies that supply-side gun control inevitably requires. The challenge is to get the politicians who continue to crave the votes of gun owners to speak as candidly about this as the president has.

This reminds me of another article I read earlier this year where Charles W. Cooke called for antigun extremists to nut up or shut up:

When the likes of Rob Delaney and Bill Maher and Keith Ellison say that we need to get rid of the Second Amendment, they are not speaking in a vacuum but reflecting the views of a small but vocal portion of the American population. And they mean it. That being so, here’s the million-dollar question: What the hell are they waiting for? Go on, chaps. Bloody well do it.

As gun owners, we’re tired of the dancing around and hints the antigun forces keep dropping.  As the WSJ post concludes:

So, to the glib critics of America’s gun culture: You cannot continue to have it both ways. If vast reductions in the supply of guns are the key to stopping mass shootings, tell us precisely what policies you propose. And then tell us how you intend to square those policies with the fact that Americans already own hundreds of millions of firearms.

If you cannot reconcile these two things, then you owe America’s lawful gun owners a different conversation: One in which you try to convince them that they’d be better off under policies that would disarm good people in a fruitless attempt to keep bad men from getting guns.

CCW success story: Bank Robber shot by civilian with CCW

Just another example of a good guy with a gun:

Local 4 has learned the robber walked into the bank and announced a hold-up. He received money from a teller and then pointed the gun at the customer, who shot him. [The CCW holder] shot him in both arms and the leg.

If you are going to carry, carry everywhere.  The gun does you no good if you leave it at home.